We're starting to get questions with reasonable code snippets in MATLAB and Python, and it would be very useful to enable syntax highlighting for Python, MATLAB, Fortran, C, C++, and R (these are the main languages I can think of in common use in computational science). An example question for which such a feature would be useful is Numerical integration for modelling curve for superconductors (Python).
As @hardmath pointed out, you can already explicitly enable syntax highlighting by prepending
<!-- language: lang-py --> (note the spaces) and an empty line before the code block. (This is mentioned on https://stackoverflow.com/editing-help#syntax-highlighting.)
What doesn't seem to be working on the SciComp.SE site is automatic syntax highlighting by associating specific tags (
matlab etc.) with the corresponding language code, as is done on the StackOverflow site. Jeff Atwood writes in a comment on https://meta.stackexchange.com/a/72163:
diamond moderators can now change syntax highlighting on a per-tag per-site basis.
I'm not sure if this refers to site moderators or only to SE network moderators.
Added: Apparently StackOverflow does support a number of manually specified language options for syntax highlighting, over a previous/default approach that used question tags to infer a language for syntax highlighting. Who knew?
Since the tags here are not terribly language directed, this may well work for us with little or no extra effort.
It's certainly a good question. Since some Markdown syntax options for code are quite minimalist, it's not obvious how a language designation would best be integrated with the monospace display context. Perhaps it really wants a new display context, analogous (but not as intricate) as the MathJAX/LaTeX context.
Likely what @RSFalcon7 is referring to above is GitHub Flavored Markdown. At any rate it shows what can be done, and what tradeoffs might be necessary.